The patient-centred impact of vision loss and eye diseases in
Singapore: Current evidence, limitations and future research.
About the Speaker:
Dr Fenwick is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), Department of
Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne. She currently holds a National Health and Medical
Research Council Early Career Fellowship and will complete two years of this Fellowship at SERI
from July 2015-2017. Dr Fenwick’s PhD work developed and validated a sophisticated diabetic
retinopathy quality of life item bank. Her research interests include patient-centred outcomes
research and modern psychometric theory in eye diseases, particularly in diabetic retinopathy. She
has also published widely in other areas of health services research, including the quality of life
impact of eye diseases and vision impairment; risk factors associated with development and
progression of eye diseases; and the effectiveness of behavioural interventions aimed at improving
quality of life, mental health and behavioural outcomes in ophthalmology. She has also initiated
novel projects in the development and validation of The Diabetic Retinopathy Health Literacy
Scale, and The Impact of Vision Impairment in Residential Care questionnaire.
People with visual impairment have impaired social functioning, lower levels of participation in
daily activities and social roles, reduced quality of life (QoL), and increased anxiety, emotional
distress and depressive symptoms. Eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, agerelated macular degeneration and cataract have also been independently associated with reduced
visual functioning and QoL. Evidence from the Singapore Malay Eye Study and related work
suggests that people with severe visual impairment are 3.5 and 13.6 times more likely to have
moderate and poor vision function, respectively. Similarly, visual function is significantly reduced
in patients with DR, glaucoma and cataract, particularly at the advanced stages. However, a more
holistic understanding of the QoL impact of vision loss and eye diseases is lacking in Singaporean
populations. This is because previous work has used visual functioning questionnaires which
measure only one aspect of QoL. However, QoL is a complex concept that encompasses functional
ability, symptoms, emotional well-being, social relationships, concerns and convenience as they
are affected by vision. This presentation will report on some new findings from current studies at
SERI on the impact of vision loss and eye diseases on QoL using the Impact of Vision Impairment
questionnaire. Future research in Singapore will focus on developing item banks for DR and
glaucoma to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of these diseases on all aspects of
All are Welcome!
19th March 2015
1.00pm – 2.00pm
Level 6, Discovery Tower, The Academia
Prof Ecosse Lamoureux